New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday said that India could have its COVID-19 vaccine from more than one source by early next year. Chairing a meeting of a group of ministers, the health minister said that expert groups are chalking out strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccine in the country:

"We're expecting that early next year we should have the vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source. Our expert groups are formulating strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccine in the country," News agency ANI tweeted quoting Harsh Vardhan.

The health minister has earlier said that given the population size of the country, India may have to tie up with more than one vaccine manufacturer to ensure that everyone is able to access the shot

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan also expressed hope of a vaccine coming out by the end of 2020 or early next year.

"As you know, we have about 40 vaccine candidates now in some stage of clinical trials, and 10 of them are in the phase three trials, which are the late-stage clinical trials, which will tell us about both the efficacy and the safety. So, the best we could make a guess or predict, looking at when a trial started and when it is likely to have enough data to submit to the regulators, is [at] earliest from December of 2020 into the early part of 2021," Swaminathan told reporters.

India recorded 55,342 new Covid infections in the past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to 71,75,881, according to the data released by Union Health Ministry.  The country also reported its lowest number of casualties in last 77 days with 706 news deaths taking the total death count to 1,09,856. 

Posted By: Rakesh Kumar Jha